Sunday, August 21, 2011

Songs I'm obsessed with: Sarah McLachlan - "When She Loved Me"

Do you remember seeing that famous ASPCA ad with all those cute, abused dogs and cats set to that heart-wrenching music? You know, the ad it was almost impossible not to cry watching? (unless you don't have a soul, of course). The music you hear in that ad is the song "Angel" by Sarah McLachlan. The ad made the song famous twice over, already having been a hit when it came out in the 80's.

Do you remember seeing Toy Story 2? You know, the dark sequel to the original hit, first-feature-length animated film? (unless you don't have a soul, of course). The song you heard during Jessie's incredibly sad rejection montage is called "When She Loved Me," also by Sarah Mclachlan. Unfortunately, the song is much less famous than "Angel," but I suppose that's understandable, as many more people likely saw the ad than the movie, and the movie wasn't really as good as the original anyway (though still excellent).

The song itself is actually not written by McLachlan. Randy Newman wrote the song, presumably for the movie. Obviously, being the song for Jessie, it made much more sense to recruit a female singer for the performance than for Newman to sing the song himself, as he usually did. The song itself is incredibly beautiful, solidifying the fact that most of the times I've cried during a movie was because of Randy Newman. The first Toy Story has a song called "I Will Go Sailing No More," which brought tears to my eyes. "When She Loved Me" is already what I'm talking about. Toy Story 3's score is written by Newman, and the final scene was the most I ever cried in a movie. In fact, the song is so beautiful that it was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1999. The award went to "You'll Be In My Heart" from Tarzan, but hey, Disney still wins in the end.

Let me tell you why this song means so much to me twelve years later. Recently I was in a relationship that went by too fast. It didn't even last two months, but it was the happiest I had ever been. If you change the lyrics from "She" to "He" and "Years" to "Months," you get the gist of the experience I had. Everything really was beautiful. But he began to drift away. We ended up breaking it off, that we should just be friends, but that we would still love each other. That didn't happen. We never called each other, we never saw each other, and I acted wrongfully to him whenever I could. Eventually he split it off completely. He got rid of all his ways to contact me. I still saw him around on Facebook, posting on his friends statuses. I blocked him out of pain; I didn't want to see his face. Maybe he tried to talk to me at some point, or send me a message, only to discover that I had blocked him. Or maybe he just hates me. I wouldn't know. The biggest difference between my experience and the song is the ending. In the end of the song, the speaker sees the love one last time and is held, just like she loved her when she loved her. What happens after that is up to the listener. My story ends after the third verse. I long to see him again, to feel him against me. Maybe not go get back together, just to see him again, to rend the barrier of hate and talk to each other. Peace. That's all I want.

And that's why I'm obsessed with this song. Twelve years after it came into the world, it found true meaning for me. No longer was it just a pretty song in a movie. I relate to it, until I wish my experience would end the same way the song does.

No comments:

Post a Comment